"Coherent Terahertz Polarization Control through Manipulation of Electron Trajectories"

Haidan Wen: Aaron M. Lindenberg ; Phys. Rev. Lett., 09/01/09.

Additional Authors: Aaron M. Lindenberg


The dynamics of ionized electrons in a plasma can be controlled by synthetic optical fields composed of the fundamental and the second harmonic of femtosecond optical pulses with an arbitrary phase and polarization. We show here that the plasma-emitted half-cycle THz radiation directly reflects the two-dimensional trajectories of the electrons through polarization sensitive THz emission spectroscopy. As a result, we find that the THz polarization smoothly rotates through 2π radians as the relative phase between the two pulses is adjusted, providing a new means of coherently controlling the polarization of light at THz frequencies.